African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development

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Nutrition status of children in a well-child clinic in Lagos Nigeria

KO Wright, Y Shogbamimu, AA Akinbami, R Adebisi, IO Senbanjo, AO Iolade


The burden of malnutrition is evident around the world and more pronounced in developing countries affecting vulnerable groups such as infants, children under five years of age and pregnant women. This study assessed the nutritional status of infants and children aged 9-59 months who visited a well-child clinic at a teaching hospital in Lagos Nigeria. A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted on 207 children consecutively recruited at a well-child clinic in 2013. Data was collected using structured interviewer-administered questionnaires. Information collected includes the sociodemographic details of each child and caregiver. In addition, selected anthropometric measurements, biochemical tests comprising serum ferritin and total blood protein levels as well as dietary information for each child participant were obtained by trained data collectors. The sampled children were aged 9-59 months, with slightly over half (53.6%) being 12 months old and above. There were more female children and the number of Fathers 84.1%who had attained tertiary education was higher (84.1%) than that of mothers (76.3%). Serum protein and ferritin levels were less than the normal reference values in 1.8% and 26.2% of the children respectively, while the prevalence of underweight children was 4.9% and 8.1% of the children were overweight based on weight-for-age z-scores. Results from the dietary survey showed that the children consumed fewer proteins than carbohydrates. Furthermore, only 18.8% and 12.6% of parents reported feeding their children fruits and vegetables. Significantly more mothers (97.5%) with tertiary education had children with normal weight for age (P<0.05). Despite the low prevalence of malnutrition among the sampled population, it was found that consumption of fruits and vegetables was low, yet these are major sources of vital micronutrients. Results indicated that the prevalence of malnutrition among the study group was generally low. Therefore, steps must be taken to ensure nutrition specific and nutrition sensitive intervention programs aimed at improving the nutritional status of children

Key words: Nutritional status, assessment, children, weight, ferritin, protein, diet, malnutrition, clinic

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